The Memphis Grizzlies‘ summer league team has had its ups and downs through the first two games, with consistent scoring being an issue even for the younger players, but one player has stood out above the rest.
Enter Jordan Adams.
Adams was the No. 22 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Grizzlies, and he was chosen to come in and provide the Grizzlies with a scoring boost as their offense has consistently been one of the fewest scoring units in the league over the past few years. The Grizzlies have the post play and scoring down low of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley is a great point guard who is able to penetrate the lane and distribute among his teammates. The problem is the teammates outside of those three cannot shoot it very well.
The good news for the Grizzlies is that Adams can shoot the ball at a very high level.
In the Grizzlies’ first summer league game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Adams scored 22 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point range and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. In his second game, this one against the Detroit Pistons, Adams had 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting, and even though Adams was only 1-of-3 from three, all of his looks were in rhythm and were flowing shots — nothing was forced. Adams was still hot from the charity stripe, hitting 7-of-7 shots from there as well.
Adams can give the Grizzlies that scoring and shooting punch the team has lacked for a while now. Even though Adams is not the most athletically gifted player on the court, he just knows how to score and has a knack for taking shots in rhythm and not forcing the offense.
Adams is wise beyond his years in terms of scoring because he keeps himself under control when going for scoring opportunities. In transition, he does not try to be the fastest player down the court and go for the big finish. Instead, Adams keeps himself and his dribble under control and looks for an opportunity for either an open pull-up shot or a chance to not just finish at the rim, but create contact and at least get two shots out of the opportunity instead of going in for a crazy finish and walking away with nothing if he misses. A lot of young players try to be too fancy and wild in transition; Adams is not fazed by the pressure of having to convert in transition and instead is able to keep his head in the game and look for the best possible option instead of just going into overdrive.
Speaking of control, Adams has some of the best body control out of all of the recent draft picks. When he is going in for an opportunity at the rim, Adams is able to twist and contort his body to avoid the blocked shot or create contact to get to the free throw line. Adams is never out of control and rarely does he get his shot blocked at the rim. Adams knows how to get his shot off while capitalizing on every opportunity he possibly can, which puts him light-years beyond a lot of young scoring prospects in this draft class.
Adams was a huge pickup for the Grizzlies. He hustles on both offense and defense and is a smart player who is showing he can be ready to contribute to a team that is looking to contend for a championship. If Adams keeps playing as well as he has in these first two games, then he may find himself as a key player in the Memphis rotation come the regular season.